Tue January 17, 2012
Congresswoman Hochul calls for improvements for small business
Western New York Congresswoman Kathy Hochul was at home in her district Monday, addressing problems faced by small businesses and calling for streamlining federal agencies.
WBFO News talked to Hochul about her call for improving the federal government's response to small businesses.
The Consolidation Authority Act would restore presidential power to re-organize federal agencies. That power that lapsed in 1984. Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Hochul, who represents New York's 26th congressional district, said Congress needs to approve the Act. Why?
"A small business in my district does not know where to go. There are 80 different entities in the federal government that deal with economic development, 47 that deal with job training. No one knows where to go, there's such a hassle dealing with different web sites and different people to contact. I see that firsthand with constituent calls that come into my office. I hope that one of the first things that the Speaker will take up on our agenda is the plan to consolidate various levels of government, make it easier so it's a one-stop shop for our businesses," said Congresswoman Hochul.
Last Saturday in his weekly address, President Obama laid out his plans to consolidate six federal agencies that oversee business and trade, a move he said would save $3 billion over the next ten years.
The President's request was met with lukewarm response. Why would Congress oppose such a measure?
"I don't think they should oppose it. I do think there will be bi-partisan support for this plan, which is why I'm sending a letter to Speaker Boehner saying "this is an opportunity to show the American people we get it," said Hochul.
According to Hochul, numerous small businessmen in Western New York would like answers to questions about exporting products to other countries, especially to Canada. Plans to consolidate the Commerce Department, Small Business Administration, Office of US Trade Representative, Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and US Trade and Development Agency into one department would cut government redundancy and help small businesses.
"We believe that the federal government can consolidate, but not also just consolidate for the sake of consolidating, but to make it better for our businesses," said Hocul.